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Meet the new most senior civil servant in Lancashire

Posted on - 29th October, 2017 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News
Angie Ridgwell is the new interim chief executive and director of resources
Angie Ridgwell is the new interim chief executive and director of resources

A controversial change to the management structure at Lancashire County Council has been carried out.

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Chief executive Jo Turton’s role has been removed – and she will be replaced by an interim chief executive and director of resources.

She is one of four senior roles to leave the county council as the Conservative group – who are in control of the council following May’s election – carry out their restructure.

It combines the role of the chief executive with added financial responsibility for the authority.

The county council is facing a savings challenge of more than £200million by 2020.

Removing Ms Turton will save the county council nearly £200,000 per year when her pension contribution is taken into account. Her salary in 2016-17 was £171,745 before pension contributions.

Read more: What’s being scrapped with bin collections in Preston

On Thursday (26 October) councillors at a full council meeting voted for the removal of the chief executive post and the creation of the new interim post.

The new interim chief exec and director of resources is Angie Ridgwell.

Leader of the county council councillor Geoff Driver said: “We had an excellent field of candidates and it is testament to Angie’s considerable range of knowledge and experience that the committee felt able to appoint her.

“This is a crucial time for the county council, as we face an unprecedented financial challenge. Our restructure of senior management recognises that challenge and required us to find an exceptional candidate, someone who not only has highly developed skills as a visionary leader, but also has the necessary professional finance qualifications and experience of managing the finances of a major organisation.

“Angie fulfils both of those criteria and I’m confident that she can lead us through the implementation of the restructure, and more importantly, play a key role as we plan a positive course through the challenges we face to enable the county council to continue providing key services to the people of Lancashire.”

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Ms Ridgwell joins from th Department for business, energy and industrial strategy where she has been director general, corporate services.

She said: “I’m extremely proud to be joining Lancashire County Council, one of the largest local authorities in the country, in this exciting new role of interim Chief Executive and Director of Resources.

“I am under no illusions about the scale of the challenge ahead and I am sure that the county council’s members and employees have the passion, commitment and expertise to rise to that challenge and continue to provide the services that the people of Lancashire value so much.”

Her CV includes roles as director general for finance and corporation services at the Department for energy and climate change in Whitehall.

Before joining central government she was strategic director for corporate services and strategic director of organisational design for Bristol City Council.

She was also chief executive of Thurrock Council at one point.

Ridgwell will take up her post early in the New Year. It is not known what her salary will be.

Geoff Driver retained his Preston North seat and is leader of the Lancashire Conservatives
Geoff Driver is county councillor for Preston North seat and is leader of the Lancashire Conservatives

At the same meeting, Tory leader county councillor for Preston North Geoff Driver survived another no confidence vote.

It came from the Labour group who point to Mr Driver’s arrest and current bail period as Lancashire Police continue to investigate the former partnership between One Connect and county council.

What do you think about the restructure at the county council? Let us know in the comments below

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